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Business Resource Efficiency and Waste: Finance

Volume 472: debated on Tuesday 4 March 2008

To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what the business resource efficiency and waste (BREW) budget is for 2008-09; and what funding has been allocated to each of the organisations within BREW. (190831)

The business resource efficiency and waste (BREW) programme was set up to return £284 million raised from landfill tax back to businesses between 2005 and 2008 through resource efficiency and waste projects.

From 2008-09, budgets previously under the BREW programme will be amalgamated into a single, more focused approach of allocating DEFRA funding to increase resource efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

Funding for business resource efficiency will be focused on providing the necessary evidence to encourage businesses to change behaviour, rather than funding profit-making business beyond that point. This move forms part of a purposeful strategy by DEFRA towards behaviour change for a low-carbon Britain.

Funding allocations for 2008-09 were announced by the Secretary of State on 21 February. The following table sets out DEFRA's allocations for 2008-09 for delivery bodies working on business resource efficiency. Except where indicated, the allocations in the areas listed were previously provided through the BREW programme.

Resource and capital funding for 2008-09

Activity (1)

£ million

Action Sustainability - promoting sustainable procurement amongst businesses


BREW Centre for Local Authorities (2), (3) - support for local authorities working with their local business community to become more resource efficient


Carbon Trust (4) - accelerating the move to a low carbon economy by working with organisations to reduce carbon emissions and develop commercial low carbon technologies


Centre for Remanufacture and Reuse (Oakdene Hollins) (2) - promoting remanufacture and reuse


Construction Resources and Waste Platform (AEA Technologies and the Building Research Establishment) (2) - liaison with the construction industry and filling evidence gaps on construction resource efficiency


Environment Agency - programmes on waste protocols (shared with WRAP), NetRegs and former BREW waste crime programme


Envirowise - embedding resource efficiency into business decision-making


Implementing Energy White Paper Commitments (Market Transformation Programme) - raising the efficiency of energy-using products


National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) - industrial symbiosis - value from unused resources


Business Reuse Fund (Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts -RSWT) (5) - obtaining value from unused resources


Technology Programme (6) - supporting technology and innovation


Waste Data Strategy - research and development of waste data, particularly on business waste


Waste and Resources Action Programme (WRAP) (4) - encouraging and enabling businesses and consumers to be more efficient in their use of materials and recycle more things more often



1. Also relevant is funding to the Regional Development Agencies (RDAs), which have received ringfenced BREW programme throughout the programme period, to co-ordinate business resource efficiency activities at the regional level and to conduct various regionally-specific projects. This was in addition to the DEFRA contribution to the RDA single programme ("single pot"), which gives RDAs the ability to address national priorities, on which they are tasked by Government (including activities to promote business resource efficiency), as well as regional objectives. With Government tasking and funding now fully aligned through the single pot, RDAs will no longer receive separate funding for resource efficiency activities. Total funding for RDAs from DEFRA in 2008-09 is £53 million.

2. In 2006-07, DEFRA funded nine pilot projects to conduct innovative work in the area of business resource efficiency. Seven of these activities were scaled up in 2007-08. Following a review of the activities, the three identified activities will continue to be funded by DEFRA in 2008-09, with the remaining four no longer receiving specific DEFRA funding. DEFRA is working with the latter four projects, listed , to ensure that learning is embedded in wider activity on business resource efficiency:

(i) Business Link Kent: Business Link Diagnostic Tool;

(ii) Community Recycling Network: Compost Doctors;

(iii) Environment Practice: Mentoring for Success in Construction; and

(iv) White Young Green: Sector specific environmental best practice programmes using a BS8555-phased approach.

3. The title of the BREW Centre for Local Authorities is under reconsideration, given that the BREW programme has been amalgamated into a single, more focused approach of allocating DEFRA funding to increase resource efficiency and reduce carbon emissions.

4. Activities undertaken by the waste and resource action programme (WRAP) and the Carbon Trust cover a range of areas, including but not restricted to business resource efficiency. For example, in the case of the Carbon Trust, £47.4 million is being provided from the domestic environmental transformation fund to support the development and deployment of low carbon technologies. DEFRA is in discussions with WRAP and the Carbon Trust about the appropriate spread of work between these various areas.

5. In 2006-07 and 2007-08, the Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts (RSWT) has managed the business reuse fund, which provides grant funding for activities involving the third sector to promote materials re-use among businesses. Following discussions with DEFRA, RSWT chose not to bid for future funding for the continuation of the fund.

6. The technology programme, overseen by the Technology Strategy Board, has received funding throughout the period of the BREW programme. The funds have been used to promote research and development into environmental technologies. BREW funding is additional to funds provided by the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS), the sponsoring department of the board. From 2008-09, DEFRA will no longer provide funding to the programme, but will work with DIUS to seek opportunities for integrating environmental sustainability considerations into the work of the programme.